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Evolving Our Tools


Evolving Our Tools

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Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Evolving Our Tools

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cmullican
cmullican
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Are there any SSMS alternatives or plugins that support T-SQL debugging, especially against a Managed Instance? I'm very disappointed the Microsoft is dropping this entirely from SSMS19 instead of updating it.
Steve Jones
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I haven't seen anything really geared to MI. They're new, lightly used, and expensive. A pain to provision, so even for us as vendors (Redgate), it's a PIA working with them to test software.

Almost no one used debugging. If you did and it worked well, good for you, but it's a lot of code, and the effort to maintain it doesn't justify the return. I'm glad they removed it as the buttons constantly got in my way, and it wasn't the most stable system.

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cmullican
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Yes, I used it extensively; it wasn't perfect, but it helped quite a bit. We just migrated a large system with somewhere around 2K SPs and functions from MySQL to SQL Server. The Migration Assistant was helpful, but also has some major bugs, and the debugger was quote helpful in figuring out where things had gone wrong.

Customizing SSMS to move or hide buttons you don't use isn't difficult, so "the buttons got in the way" isn't all that convincing an argument.

As for MI costs, I wasn't involved in the decision to use MIs over Azure SQL for the new system, but it seems to be working well so far. . No difficulties in setting up proc and test systems; we kept dev in an on-prem VM specifically to be able to use the debugger.
Steve Jones
Steve Jones
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Just remember your frame of reference or way of working isn't everyones. I hit a lot of new SSMS installs, so customizing all of them isn't practical. Usually run SSMS over RDP on another box.

The debugger just wasn't used often. The telemetry from MS shows that it's very rarely used by most developers, so they decided to stop supporting it.

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cmullican
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I'm aware that every one's situation is different -- your way isn't universal, either. As it happens, most days, I'm using RDP on an iMac to connect to a Surface Pro where I'm running SSMS; I'm working with a combination of Azure MI, Azure SQL, SQL Server on an Azure VM, SQL Server on an on-prem VM, and SQL Server on-prem halfway across the country, because corporate politics are weird and complicated, and different people made different decisions at different times, based on different factors. Depending on what I'm doing, I may then have one or more additional RDP sessions from the Surface to servers elsewhere, and might or might not be running SSMS on a remote server as well.

But none of that is relevant to the issues at hand. While I am personally disappointed that MS is dropping a tool I found useful, and which others might have used more if it had been improved instead of being dropped, I'm not out campaigning for them to bring it back. I simply asked if anyone knew of other tools in that niche. A simple "no", or no answer at all, would have been sufficient, but you seem to be trying to convince me I'm wrong to find it useful, which seems bizarre to me. You don't use it, fine; what purpose does telling me serve?
Steve Jones
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Apologies, not trying to convince you you're wrong. My comment about my situation was an aside, and my response was about your noting it's easy to reconfigure SSMS. It is if it's my machine, not otherwise.

To your question. I know of no third party debugger for T-SQL. AFAIK, there isn't an API to connect to the SQL Server and stop code from executing. You can certainly use Windbg for the sqlsrvr.exe process, but that's not what would help you with T-SQL in most cases.

You are welcome to try and get people interested and vote at: https://feedback.azure.com/forums/908035-sql-server/suggestions/35881492-put-debugger-back-into-ssms-18

I doubt you'll change their minds, as it seems very few people use this, but you can try. Welcome to ask others for votes as well.

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Steve Jones
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Actually one with more votes: https://feedback.azure.com/forums/908035-sql-server/suggestions/35691865-dont-remove-debugging-from-ssms-18-0

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cmullican
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Thanks. It really is useful to me for tracking down errors in complex nested SPs with multiple dynamic SQL statements, etc. (Yes, some of them could be refactored to be simpler, but there's only one of me, and a couple thousand SPs / functions....)
cmullican
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Although, really, I find that when something is a niche interest, a third-party tool is often a better option. They can charge enough to support the development effort necessary, while MS is giving away SSMS, and is going to have different priorities.
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